Russian military will hold fire and open humanitarian corridors in several Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv on Monday, the Interfax news agency cited Russia’s Defense Ministry as saying, after fighting halted weekend evacuation efforts and civilian casualties from Russia’s invasion mounted.
The corridors will open at 10 a.m. Moscow time (7 a.m. GMT) from the capital Kyiv as well as the cities of Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy and are being set up at the personal request of French President Emmanuel Macron, the ministry said.
Those who leave Kyiv will be airlifted to Russia, the ministry said, adding that it would use drones to monitor the evacuation and “attempts by the Ukrainian side to deceive Russia and the whole civilized world … are useless this time.”
On Sunday the second attempt to evacuate civilians from the southern city of Mariupol failed due to the continued Russian attacks, Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said. The port city has been under siege for a week.
Earlier Sunday the city council in Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol, which is currently surrounded by Russian troops, said it will begin efforts to evacuate its civilian population after Saturday’s attempts were scuppered by cease-fire violations.
Some of the 400,000 residents trapped by Russian forces were set to start evacuating at 12 p.m. local time (10 a.m. GMT) on Sunday under a temporary cease-fire that was to last until 9 p.m. About 440,000 people resided in the port city on the Sea of Azov before the Russian invasion. Many residents still there are without electricity, water and heat after days of Russian bombardment.